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Re: [civilwarwest] Confederacy's Last Hurrah

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  • lewisjb66@comcast.net
    I think you re right on track. Command failures, particularly in the Army of Tennessee, are key to Confederate failure in the Western Theater. ... I started
    Message 1 of 28 , Sep 2, 2004
      I think you're right on track. Command failures, particularly in the Army of Tennessee, are key to Confederate failure in the Western Theater.
      -------------- Original message --------------

      I started reading this book yesterday and it is a fantastic book. I find it hard though to picture Hood this way considering all the promise that he showed early on in the war. It�s like he is a completely different person. I have only read a few books on the War in the West but it seems to me that the Western front was much more political than the East. Davis seems to have interfered more and there certainly seems to be more backstabbing and intrigue between Bragg, Davis, Beauregard, Hood and some of the other Generals. It�s seems to be like the Confederate army in the West is imploding on itself and their real enemy is not the Union army but themselves. Am I correct in my impression that the lack of leadership in the East early on in the war for the North is mirrored in the West by the South at least at the Army level?


    • LWhite64@aol.com
      Well the in fighting also existed almost from day one. Also things were pretty bad over in the Army of Mississippi(Pemberton s), in fact it was at near mutiny
      Message 2 of 28 , Sep 2, 2004
        Well the in fighting also existed almost from day one.  Also things were pretty bad over in the Army of Mississippi(Pemberton's), in fact it was at near mutiny level there.  Hood had changed dramatically after losing his leg at Chickamauga, I have often said that in a way its a shame Hood hadnt died there, for his reputation's sake.  If he had died on the afternoon of Sept 20, he would have been enshrined along with Stuart and Jackson. 
         
        Lee
      • William Gower
        Just speculation on my part, but do you think that some of what he did was affected by his being hopelessly in love and not thinking rationally? Or maybe
        Message 3 of 28 , Sep 2, 2004

          Just speculation on my part, but do you think that some of what he did was affected by his being “hopelessly in love” and not thinking rationally?  Or maybe thinking that he had something to prove that he was not less a soldier or a man because he had lost a leg.

           

           

           


          From: LWhite64@... [mailto:LWhite64@...]
          Sent: Thursday, September 02, 2004 6:08 PM
          To: civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com
          Subject: Re: [civilwarwest] Confederacy's Last Hurrah

           

          Well the in fighting also existed almost from day one.  Also things were pretty bad over in the Army of Mississippi(Pemberton's), in fact it was at near mutiny level there.  Hood had changed dramatically after losing his leg at Chickamauga, I have often said that in a way its a shame Hood hadnt died there, for his reputation's sake.  If he had died on the afternoon of Sept 20, he would have been enshrined along with Stuart and Jackson. 

           

          Lee



        • LWhite64@aol.com
          I personally think it was a combination of things. I have heard that amputations like that can have a psychological effect on someone, and that may have been
          Message 4 of 28 , Sep 2, 2004
            I personally think it was a combination of things.  I have heard that amputations like that can have a psychological effect on someone, and that may have been part of it.  I think Buck was weighing on him and I also think he was desperate, I think he knew the Confederacy was losing and he was going to try to do anything to win.
             
            Lee
          • lilsteve68@aol.com
            Bill, The Last Hurrah is wonderfull book, but it bashes Hood through out and their are some untruths in there as well. There are Two great sites out there On
            Message 5 of 28 , Sep 2, 2004
              Bill,

              The Last Hurrah is wonderfull book, but it bashes Hood through out and their are some untruths in there as well.

              There are Two great sites out there On General Hood  done by his desendants.    JohnBellHood.org  &  The John Bell Hood Historical Society 

              Lee ,
              It was a pleasure seeing you last Saturday at the park.  Had a great  tour and the new additions to the visitor center is great..  Was  wondering though the Officers tent   There is a cot in there  made out of camp stools a what looks to be stretcher.    Was that  the norm? Made perfect sense  to be done that way but I guess it varied just never see n it  done.

              Regards,
              Steven

              ==========================================

              Lieut. Renefro of Company K  of the 22nd Alabama Regiment some days before the Battle of Chickamauga had got a leave of absence to visit his home at Jacksonville, Alabama. His father  brought him back to the army in a buggy arriving there on the evening of Sept  19.

              On the morning of the 20th Lieut. Renefro joined his command and went into the fight.  After several Color bearers had fallen  Lieut.  Renfro seized the colors and
              gallantly carried them to the front and planted them almost within the enemy's line. Moving rapidly forward, amid a destructive fire of shot and shell, some 200 yards across an open field. Shortly after  Lieut.  Renfro,  fell pierced through the head with colors in hand.

              When last seen Lieut Renfroe's  father was carrying his body off the battlefield in the buggy in which they had come.

              Flag of the 22nd Alabama Infantry
              Captured  by the 121st Ohio Infantry
              Sept 20 1863



              Total losses for the 22nd Alabama Infantry
              During the 
              Battle of Chickamauga


              Going into Battle:
              31 officers and 340 men;
              Aggregate:  371

              Killed:
              Officers -  5
              Enlisted men - 39

              Wounded:

              Officers - 10
              Enlisted men -  151.

              Missing, none.

              Total  losses : 205
            • LWhite64@aol.com
              Steve, Good to see you too. As to the officer s tent, the cot is an original that belonged to an unknown officer and is a Goodrich Combination Cot, patent of
              Message 6 of 28 , Sep 3, 2004
                Steve,
                Good to see you too. As to the officer's tent, the cot is an original that belonged to an unknown officer and is a Goodrich Combination Cot, patent of Aug of 61, so I guess it can be broken down into two stools as well. I dont think that it was the norm, but a really cool varient.

                Lee
              • GnrlJEJohnston@aol.com
                In a message dated 9/2/2004 10:30:22 PM Eastern Standard Time, lilsteve68@aol.com writes: There are Two great sites out there On General Hood done by his
                Message 7 of 28 , Sep 3, 2004
                  In a message dated 9/2/2004 10:30:22 PM Eastern Standard Time, lilsteve68@... writes:
                  There are Two great sites out there On General Hood  done by his desendants.    JohnBellHood.org  &  The John Bell Hood Historical Society 
                  I would venture to say that they would be a little biased and had an axe to grind.  As far as untruths said in the Last Hurrah, Sword does extensive research and checks and rechecks everything he writes.
                   

                  Best Regards
                  JEJ

                  "I have realized in our country that one class of
                  men makes war and leaves another to fight it out."
                         - William T. Sherman




                • lilsteve68@aol.com
                  In a message dated 9/3/04 12:18:56 PM Central Daylight Time, ... General, Tthere two sides to every story. thats all i m trying to say. Regards, Steven
                  Message 8 of 28 , Sep 3, 2004
                    In a message dated 9/3/04 12:18:56 PM Central Daylight Time, GnrlJEJohnston@... writes:

                    I would venture to say that they would be a little biased and had an axe to grind.  As far as untruths said in the Last Hurrah, Sword does extensive research and checks and rechecks everything he writes.



                    General,
                    Tthere two sides to every story. thats all i'm trying to say.

                    Regards,
                    Steven
                  • lilsteve68@aol.com
                    In a message dated 9/3/04 7:39:01 AM Central Daylight Time, LWhite64@aol.com ... Thank you for the info Lee. Very Interesting info. Regards, Steven
                    Message 9 of 28 , Sep 3, 2004
                      In a message dated 9/3/04 7:39:01 AM Central Daylight Time, LWhite64@... writes:

                      s to the officer's tent, the cot is an original that belonged to an unknown officer and is a Goodrich Combination Cot, patent of Aug of 61, so I guess it can be broken down into two stools as well.  I dont think that it was the norm, but a really cool varient.

                      Lee

                      Thank you for the info Lee.   Very Interesting info.

                      Regards,
                      Steven
                    • Art Bagley
                      Hello One & All... One thing nobody s mentioned yet with regards to Hood s performance as army commander is his use of laudanum to combat the pain of his two
                      Message 10 of 28 , Sep 4, 2004
                        Hello One & All...

                        One thing nobody's mentioned yet with regards to Hood's performance
                        as army commander is his use of laudanum to combat the pain of his
                        two major woundings.

                        I'm no psychologist or medical doctor who understands the exact
                        effects of an opiate on decision-making, but I believe his
                        dependence on painkillers did interfere with his command decisions.

                        The Spring Hill debacle is sometimes attributed to Hood issuing
                        conflicting instructions to his division commanders then retiring
                        for the night; Hood's aides were reluctant to wake the commanding
                        general when reports came in about the retreating Unionists and the
                        confused divisional leaders had questions about deployments to block
                        Schofield. The aides of Hood may have tried waking him in similar
                        instances and woke a raging bear, or could not stir him to
                        wakefulness, both because of the effects of the laudanum.

                        AorB
                        Tampa, FL
                      • lilsteve68@aol.com
                        In a message dated 9/4/04 8:07:17 PM Central Daylight Time, abagley@ut.edu ... Here is an article writen on the subject. Regards, Steven John Bell Hood s
                        Message 11 of 28 , Sep 4, 2004
                          In a message dated 9/4/04 8:07:17 PM Central Daylight Time, abagley@... writes:

                          Hello One &All...

                          One thing nobody's mentioned yet with regards to Hood's performance
                          as army commander is his use of laudanum to combat the pain of his
                          two major woundings.

                          I'm no psychologist or medical doctor who understands the exact
                          effects of an opiate on decision-making, but I believe his
                          dependence on painkillers did interfere with his command decisions.

                          The Spring Hill debacle is sometimes attributed to Hood issuing
                          conflicting instructions to his division commanders then retiring
                          for the night; Hood's aides were reluctant to wake the commanding
                          general when reports came in about the retreating Unionists and the
                          confused divisional leaders had questions about deployments to block
                          Schofield. The aides of Hood may have tried waking him in similar
                          instances and woke a raging bear, or could not stir him to
                          wakefulness, both because of the effects of the laudanum.

                          AorB
                          Tampa, FL


                          Here  is an article writen on the subject.

                          Regards, Steven

                          John Bell Hood's "Addictions" In Civil War Literature
                          -- An Opinion Piece by Steve Davis --
                          (This article originally appeared in Blue & Gray magazine, October 1998.)


                          Really, y'all, this talk must stop --  where's the evidence of General Hood's drug use?

                          I don't know who started it...

                          Percy Hamlin, maybe. In his introduction to Old Bald Head: General R. S. Ewell (1940), he states that "Sherman captured Atlanta and Lincoln was reelected because "a competent, cautious man was replaced by one who, brave and loyal though he was, had been so crippled by wounds as to make him dependent upon the use of opium" (pp.ix-x).

                          Note that we're not naming names, so Hamlin is able to dodge a charge of libel. But the implication is clear: in July 1864, Confederate President Jefferson Davis replaced General Joseph E. Johnston, the "competent, cautious man," with General John Bell Hood, the opium-eater.

                          What was Hamlin's source for this outrageous allegation? He doesn't offer one -- not in his text, not in a footnote. It doesn't matter. The charge has stuck to Hood.

                          One sees these allegations elsewhere, but curiously they're almost always speculative. In his booklet for the National Park Service, The Road Past Kennesaw: The Atlanta Campaign of 1864 (1972), Richard M. McMurry guesses that Hood "may have been taking a derivative of laudanum to ease his pain" from wounds (p. 42; italics added). The former newspaper columnist Webb Garrison, in his Atlanta and the War (1995), also entertains the possibility that Hood's judgement may have suffered "perhaps from use of laudanum to dull his constant pain" (p. 138) -- but note that again we see the unsupported, key word perhaps.

                          Hood's accusers often focus their attention on the notoriously missed opportunity at Spring Hill, Tennessee, the night of November 29-30, 1864, when the inert Confederate army allowed Schofield's Federal forces to slip out of a trap. Hood, having been up since 3 a.m. that day, was by all accounts exhausted. As James Lee McDonough and Thomas L. Connelly say in Five Tragic Hours: The Battle of Franklin (1983), Hood was therefore sound asleep while the Yankees slinked away, "especially if he took any liquor or a drug to relax" (p. 50; italics added).

                          Wiley Sword is just as equivocal in Embrace An Angry Wind, The Confederacy's Last Hurrah: Spring Hill, Franklin, and Nashville (1992). After dinner at his headquarters on the night of November 29, Hood retired and "perhaps swallowed some laudanum (a tincture of opium)" (p. 136). Sword's only source for this charge, we see in the endnotes, is a History of Maury County, Tennessee, not any primary, eyewitness source.

                          Indeed, local legend seems to be about the only basis of belief in Hood's insobriety at Spring Hill. Stanley Horn called attention to it in his The Army of Tennessee (1941): "Old soldiers and old residenters around Spring Hill explain all that night's fumbling in blunt terms: "Hood was drunk." That is a grave charge. It cannot now be proved or disproved. It is mentioned because the local tradition is so strong" (p. 392). The local legend of Spring Hill even made its way into Hood's first biography, as Richard O'Conner acknowledges, "it was a legend of the countryside for many years after that Hood was drunk that night" (Hood: Cavalier General, 1949, p. 232).

                          The legend is so strong that we've had to deal with it in our magazine. Editor Dave Roth, in his "General's Tour" of Spring Hill (Blue & Gray, November 1984), does not accept the legend of Hood's drinking, based at least partly on his reputation for abstemiousness.* Unfortunately, though, Dave does not rule out his possible use of laudanum, as he speculates that Hood "probably had a supply" of the drug; he "may well have turned to its use"; and if he did, the cause "may lie in his poor health" (italics added).

                          Dave's onsite research at Spring Hill included a visit with the Maury County historian in Columbia. Her "treasure trove" of material had accounts by local residents, including members of the Thompson family (Hood stayed at the Absalom Thompson house that fateful night) and neighbors. Among them is even a hint that Hood had taken a painful spill from his horse along the rocky backroad to Spring Hill. Based on these accounts and discussions with authorities in Civil War medicine, Dave concluded, "Laboring under intense pain, his [Hood's] mind was often clouded by pain-killing drugs" (p. 21) -- a statement he admits may have been too strong, lacking reliable eyewitnesses from the Army of Tennessee. (If you tweak him too much on this, he points out with a sly grin how Hood managed to wipe out many of those witnesses at Franklin the next day.)

                          The legend of Hood's drug use lives on. "Legend" though is a woefully weak basis for historical writing, especially as it allows hypothesis to leap to reality. Thus while Sword in his text wonders if "perhaps Hood swallowed some laudanum," his editors (in a caption for Hood's photograph in the book) assert flatly that Hood "often resorted to the use of laudanum," (Embrace an Angry Wind, f.p. 244).

                          Ronald H. Bailey, in his volume for the Time-Life series, The Battles for Atlanta (1985), also makes the self-assured leap in claiming, "By the accounts of some contemporaries, Hood suffered such intense pain that he was taking laudanum, an opiate that could impair mental judgement" (p. 91). Of course, Bailey doesn't name any of those accusing contemporaries, so we don't know his sources. The usually careful scholar, Steven E. Woodworth, in his essay for Savas and Woodbury's The Campaign for Atlanta (1994) also states that General Hood "at times resorted to alcohol and laudanum, a derivative of opium" (p. 18). Professor Woodworth does name his source; but it is nothing more than McMurry's booklet. As we have seen, although McMurry only guessed that Hood may have been taking laudanum, Woodworth jumps to the conclusion that he did.

                          Such is the leap from imaginative possibility to historical fact. In the literature of John Bell Hood, it seems a small step indeed.

                          Well, let's try to use some logic here, and approach the issue another way: if no contemporary ever saw Hood self-dosing with an opiate or if no one ever wrote about it, and if no such documentation has ever come to light, why are historians so eager to accept what must only be an unsupported speculation about a very important Confederate general?

                          The answer lies at least partly in Hood's wounds. As every Civil Warrior knows, the General suffered two severe injuries during the war. At Gettysburg, as he was leading his division into action on the second day, Hood took shell fragments in the left biceps, elbow, forearm and hand. The damage required no amputation, but thereafter Hood's left arm rested limp and useless in a sling. A few months later, at Chickamauga, September 20, 1863, Hood was shot in the right leg high in the thigh. Medical officers amputated that night; the procedure went well, without complication. Still, by all odds, Hood's chances of recovery were iffy.

                          Medical statistics for amputation in the upper third of the femur show death resulted in slightly more than 50% of all cases. According to The Medical and Surgical History of the War of the Rebellion (1875-85), of the 268 Union and Confederate soldiers who died from Hood's type of amputation, more than a third perished within five days of the operation, doubtless from hemorrhage or shock. No cause of death is given for more than 180 of the reported fatalities. Not surprisingly, given the grossly unsanitary conditions of all Civil War surgery, the second most prominent cause of death was pyaemia, a "surgical fever" similar to gangrene.

                          Post-operative infection was the chief cause of surgical mortality in the Civil War and, as the name implies, "hospital gangrene" commonly occurred in the crowded wards where soldiers' unclean wounds festered. The main reason General Hood escaped infection of his leg stump was that he never entered a hospital. As was the custom of general officers of both sides, Hood received personal care, and commanded the attention of the army's best medical officers.

                          On September 21, the day after the operation, Hood was borne fifteen miles to the home of a staff member's parents, where he was tended by Dr. John Darby. Convalescence proceeded well. October 8, the General talked about returning to duty. The 17th, he sat up; Dr. Darby expected him soon to be on crutches. In late October, Hood was able to travel to Dalton, Georgia; a few days later he took the train to Atlanta. There he spent a week in the residence of John S. Thrasher. From there, probably on November 10, he went on to Richmond. "His stump healed promptly, but remained painful," observes Paul E. Steiner, M.D., in Medical-Military Portraits of Union and Confederate Generals (1968), "and because it was so short an artificial limb was hard to fit."

                          But in time, with crutches and a prosthetic leg, he was able to move about. By mid-January 1864 he was riding horseback. Clearly, with his left arm paralyzed in a sling, and his right leg gone, simply mounting his horse was a chore for Hood. As Confederate staff officer Joseph B. Cumming records, it took three aides to raise the General onto his horse, fix his wooden leg in the stirrup, and strap both Hood and his crutches to the saddle. But the General rode well and often after he returned to Georgia in February '64 as new corps commander in the Army of Tennessee. To quiet concerns about his comfort and mobility, Hood allowed an Atlanta newspaper to publish a letter written to a friend: "Since I came here I have been riding all over this country with Gen. Johnston, and have been in the saddle every day enough to have fought two or three battles, without feeling any inconvenience whatever from it. I ride with perfect comfort to myself, and expect to walk with a cane before long" (Atlanta [Memphis] Appeal, March 14, 1864).

                          Please note that in all this there is no mention of such discomfort as to require the use of any painkiller. During his three winter months in Richmond, frequently in the company of that alert observer Mary Chesnut, Hood talked of his crippled status (a "one legged man" who "cannot walk without help"), but in her famous diary she recorded no sense of self-pity. Nor does Mrs. Chesnut once mention Hood's resort to liquor or any other drug. Moreover, Dr. Steiner astutely assumes that in the winter of 1863-64, when Hood spent considerable time with President Davis, "Davis would almost certainly have known of any narcotic addiction" and not approved Hood for promotion to lieutenant general (Medical-Military Portraits, p. 229). Jefferson Davis may reasonably be accused of making some misguided decisions during the war, but appointing an opium-eater to high army command should not be listed among them.

                          Still, many writers can't help but imagine the pain Hood might have felt in his leg-stump. "His old leg wound may have been irritated by the long, damp ride over rough roads," Connelly muses in Autumn of Glory (p. 500 -- note may). "Maybe other things reinforced it [Hood's attitude]…physical and mental pain over his frightful wound (Five Tragic Hours, p. 67 -- note maybe). Even if untrained in medicine or unread in its literature, historians assume a learnedness in the etiology of pain, as does Winston Groom in Shrouds of Glory (1995), referring to Hood's "throbbing stump of a leg" (p. 159), or Wiley Sword commenting on "the pain in his leg stump" that Hood must have felt at Spring Hill (Embrace an Angry Wind, p. 69).

                          Worst, by far, is James Street, Jr.'s speculation in an article in Civil War Times Illustrated, May 1988. Though he technically hedges on the General's opium use ("if Hood was dependent on painkillers" (my italics), Street certainly feels Hood's wounds. "The pain from the stump of his right leg must have been horrendous when he rode strapped to his saddle. The bouncing and jolting, the abrasive rubbing of the stump against the rough cloth of a dressing or pad could not have been endured without some sort of pain-reliever. An opiate was the standard prescription. The drug would have made Hood sleep at Spring Hill while the Federals escaped his trap."

                          This is too much! Somewhere along the way, hasn't anyone thought of how other amputees handled themselves in active service? Take Dan Sickles, whose right leg was shattered by a solid shot at Gettysburg. After amputation at the thigh, General Sickles experienced pain for a while in his stump, but eventually returned to duty, and got about on crutches till his death in 1914. Where's the talk about his laudanum use?

                          Even better comparison is made with Dick Ewell, whose post-amputation ordeal was much worse than Hood's. After he was shot in the left knee at Groveton, August 28, 1862, Ewell underwent an amputation in the lower third of the thigh. Days later, carried by litter-bearers beyond threat of capture, Ewell was so jostled that the bone protruded from its stump. The wound "sloughed," and eventually an inch of necrotic bone fell away from the femur. Bedridden for weeks, Ewell finally mastered the use of crutches -- only to fall on the icy pavement of Richmond in December '62, knocking off another inch of bone, tearing his sutures and reopening the wound.

                          Added to these complications were the odd shape of Ewell's stump and ill-fitting wooden leg which together led, as Jack D. Welsh, M.D., writes in Medical Histories of Confederate Generals (1995), to Ewell's frequently being "bothered by abrasions of the skin and by small abscesses" (p. 64). Still, the General returned to active service in June 1863, and stayed in the field until his capture at Sayler's Creek in 1865. Every now and then Ewell would fall off his horse and also reopen his wound, as once, while talking to another officer, he forgot about his loss, got up, started to walk and promptly fell, striking the stump and causing much bleeding.

                          In November 1863, Ewell took sick leave, partly due to pain in his stump from probable osteomyelitis. During all this time none of Ewell's biographers -- including Donald C. Pfanz in the most current biography of Ewell -- has even contemplated the possibility of his drug use. How odd that General Ewell's first chronicler, Hamlin, would assume the need for pain medicine in one amputee, Hood, when his own subject suffered more frequent and painful complications of surgery without opium use.

                          To be sure, we must acknowledge the widespread dispensing of opiates by Civil War surgeons, and acknowledge too that a number of Yanks and Rebs became addicted to opium or its derivatives. But as David Courtwright suggests in his thoughtful study of the subject ("Opium Addiction as a Consequence of the Civil War," Civil War History, June 1978), such dispensing and addiction came about as much through surgeons' prescription of opium for chronic diarrhea and dysentery as for post-operative pain, a subject that seldom arises in the war's medical literature. The common understanding about Union and Confederate amputees seems to be that (assuming the soldiers got out of the hospitals alive), stumps healed and the men moved on.

                          At least partly for this reason, none of Hood's biographers even mentions laudanum in their books, though they ponder the effects of his wounds. O'Conner quotes Sam Watkins' pathetic description of Hood on horseback: "how feeble and decrepit he looked, with an arm in a sling and a crutch in the other hand, trying to guide and control his horse" (p. 243). During the Atlanta Campaign, according to John P. Dyer in The Gallant Hood (1950), Hood had access to two artificial legs brought back from Europe by Dr. Darby. One he kept strapped to his spare mount's saddle, the other he tried to wear, albeit with discomfort. Hood used it to help maintain his balance on horseback, but apparently found it of little help in walking.

                          Then there is Richard M. McMurry. A decade after his supposition, advanced in the NPS booklet, that Hood "may have been taking a derivative of laudanum," Dr. McMurry quietly recanted. In John Bell Hood and the War for Southern Independence (1982), McMurry explores the psychological effects of Hood's maiming, and its effect on the General's mobility, but there is no reference to drug use. Richard has reaffirmed to me personally that this non-mention is in effect an admission that in researching his book he found no evidence to support his earlier conjecture.

                          That should put an end to all the nonsense masquerading as fact. But Civil War writing being what it is, of course the blather continues. Take, for instance, Craig L. Symonds' new book on General Patrick R. Cleburne, Stonewall of the West. The night before Cleburne lost his life at Franklin, says Symonds, at the Thompson house in Spring Hill, General John Bell Hood took "an early dinner and a laudanum-induced sleep" (p. 254).

                          Really, y'all -- this talk must stop!

                          ABOUT THE AUTHOR:


                          Steve Davis studied under the esteemed Bell I. Wiley and received his Ph.D. from Emory
                          University. He has been Blue & Gray's Book Review Editor since 1985, and resides in
                          Atlanta, Ga.

                          This article originally appeared in Blue & Gray magazine, October 1998.

                          * See for example, the Confederate soldier's statement, reported by "Chickamauga" in
                          the New York Times, Aug. 27, 1864, that after Hood's baptism by Bishop Polk in the
                          spring of '64, "neither an oath nor glass of liquor had passed his lips."
                        • LWhite64@aol.com
                          Actually as has been brought up before there is no evidence that Hood was on pain killers, in fact evidence points to the opposite. Laudanum makes a user
                          Message 12 of 28 , Sep 4, 2004
                            Actually as has been brought up before there is no evidence that Hood was on pain killers, in fact evidence points to the opposite.  Laudanum makes a user lethargic and Hood certainly wasnt that, if he was on Laudanum he wouldnt have been "wrathy as a rattlesnake" on the morning of the 30th.  Also many accounts make mention him being rather animated, so not signs of one on an opium based drug.  Many assume because of his wounds he would have had to have had them, but it seems that Hood's leg wound at least healed properly and he never complained about it.  Richard Ewell's leg was much worse and he also didnt depend on Laudanum, he actually ruptured his amputation once.  Nope, Hood did all that he did on a clear head.
                             
                            Lee
                          • DPowell334@AOL.COM
                            In a message dated 9/4/2004 11:28:46 PM Central Daylight Time, ... I apologize in advance for not being more exact, but I do recall reading an article
                            Message 13 of 28 , Sep 5, 2004
                              In a message dated 9/4/2004 11:28:46 PM Central Daylight Time, LWhite64@... writes:


                              Actually as has been brought up before there is no evidence that Hood was on pain killers, in fact evidence points to the opposite. 


                              I apologize in advance for not being more exact, but I do recall reading an article examining this myth. My understanding is that there is no primary source evidence of Hood taking Laudenum, or any other pain killer. The first suggestion of Hood using such comes from a historian writing much later, like the 1960s, and speculating on the possible effects of Hood taking a painkiller.

                              That speculation so many years after the fact has migrated to being an 'accepted' fact that Hood had to have used painkillers.

                              Does anyone remember this article in more detail (i.e. author, publication, etc?)

                              Dave Powell
                            • DPowell334@AOL.COM
                              In a message dated 9/4/2004 9:37:39 PM Central Daylight Time, ... LOL. I guess I should scroll down and read all my messages before I post. this is the article
                              Message 14 of 28 , Sep 5, 2004
                                In a message dated 9/4/2004 9:37:39 PM Central Daylight Time, lilsteve68@... writes:

                                Here  is an article writen on the subject.

                                Regards, Steven

                                John Bell Hood's "Addictions" In Civil War Literature
                                -- An Opinion Piece by Steve Davis --
                                (This article originally appeared in Blue &Gray magazine, October 1998.)




                                LOL.

                                I guess I should scroll down and read all my messages before I post. this is the article I mentioned in the previous message.

                                Dave Powell
                              • SDE80@aol.com
                                In a message dated 9/4/04 9:07:23 PM Eastern Daylight Time, abagley@ut.edu ... Respectfully, there is no proof, at all, that drugs affected any aspect of
                                Message 15 of 28 , Sep 5, 2004
                                  In a message dated 9/4/04 9:07:23 PM Eastern Daylight Time, abagley@... writes:

                                  One thing nobody's mentioned yet with regards to Hood's performance
                                  as army commander is his use of laudanum to combat the pain of his
                                  two major woundings.

                                  I'm no psychologist or medical doctor who understands the exact
                                  effects of an opiate on decision-making, but I believe his
                                  dependence on painkillers did interfere with his command decisions

                                  Respectfully, there is no proof, at all, that drugs affected any aspect of Hood's performance.

                                  Sam Elliott
                                • lilsteve68@aol.com
                                  In a message dated 9/5/04 6:15:21 AM Central Daylight Time, ... It happens Dave : ) regards, Steven
                                  Message 16 of 28 , Sep 5, 2004
                                    In a message dated 9/5/04 6:15:21 AM Central Daylight Time, DPowell334@... writes:

                                    LOL.

                                    I guess I should scroll down and read all my messages before I post. this is the article I mentioned in the previous message.

                                    Dave Powell


                                    It happens Dave : )

                                    regards,
                                    Steven
                                  • GnrlJEJohnston@aol.com
                                    In a message dated 9/5/2004 7:15:19 AM Eastern Standard Time, DPowell334@AOL.COM writes: I guess I should scroll down and read all my messages before I post.
                                    Message 17 of 28 , Sep 5, 2004
                                      In a message dated 9/5/2004 7:15:19 AM Eastern Standard Time, DPowell334@... writes:
                                      I guess I should scroll down and read all my messages before I post. this is the article I mentioned in the previous message.

                                      Dave Powell
                                      That's me also Dave, I go for the lastist to be the fustest
                                       

                                      Best Regards
                                      JEJ

                                      "I have realized in our country that one class of
                                      men makes war and leaves another to fight it out."
                                             - William T. Sherman




                                    • William Gower
                                      Sword in Confederacy s Last Hurrah uses the reference Frank H. Smith, History of Maury County, Tenn. Book 1 Page 238 for his statement that Hood took
                                      Message 18 of 28 , Sep 5, 2004

                                        Sword in “Confederacy’s Last Hurrah” uses the reference Frank H. Smith, “History of Maury County, Tenn. Book 1 Page 238 for his statement that Hood took Laudanum.

                                         


                                        From: SDE80@... [mailto:SDE80@...]
                                        Sent: Sunday, September 05, 2004 8:19 AM
                                        To: civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com
                                        Subject: Re: [civilwarwest] Re: Confederacy's Last Hurrah

                                         

                                        In a message dated 9/4/04 9:07:23 PM Eastern Daylight Time, abagley@... writes:


                                        One thing nobody's mentioned yet with regards to Hood's performance
                                        as army commander is his use of laudanum to combat the pain of his
                                        two major woundings.

                                        I'm no psychologist or medical doctor who understands the exact
                                        effects of an opiate on decision-making, but I believe his
                                        dependence on painkillers did interfere with his command decisions



                                        Respectfully, there is no proof, at all, that drugs affected any aspect of Hood's performance.

                                        Sam Elliott


                                      • SDE80@aol.com
                                        In a message dated 9/5/04 10:46:12 AM Eastern Daylight Time, ... It s a local legend. There s no contemporary proof of drug-taking. Sam Elliott In a message
                                        Message 19 of 28 , Sep 5, 2004
                                          In a message dated 9/5/04 10:46:12 AM Eastern Daylight Time, billgower@... writes:

                                          Sword in “Confederacy’s Last Hurrah” uses the reference Frank H. Smith, “History of Maury County, Tenn. Book 1 Page 238 for his statement that Hood took Laudanum.

                                           




                                          It's a local legend.   There's no contemporary proof of drug-taking. 

                                          Sam Elliott
                                        • Art Bagley
                                          Good afternoon, Steve and Everyone... What a great story, Steve; thank you for finding and posting it. I see it s available at johnbellhood.org/menu.htm a very
                                          Message 20 of 28 , Sep 5, 2004
                                            Good afternoon, Steve and Everyone...

                                            What a great story, Steve; thank you for finding and posting it. I
                                            see it's available at

                                            johnbellhood.org/menu.htm

                                            a very good site for all kinds of Hood exposition.

                                            Art "Not Strapped to A Horse" B.
                                          • lilsteve68@aol.com
                                            In a message dated 9/5/04 11:52:09 AM Central Daylight Time, abagley@ut.edu ... Most welcome Sir. regards, Steven
                                            Message 21 of 28 , Sep 5, 2004
                                              In a message dated 9/5/04 11:52:09 AM Central Daylight Time, abagley@... writes:

                                              Good afternoon, Steve and Everyone...

                                              What a great story, Steve; thank you for finding and posting it. I
                                              see it's available at

                                              johnbellhood.org/menu.htm

                                              a very good site for all kinds of Hood exposition.

                                              Art "Not Strapped to A Horse" B.

                                              Most welcome Sir.

                                              regards, Steven
                                            • Tom Mix
                                              I know there is no documented evidence of Hood s having taken laudanum, but his behavior was quite erratic and his judgment was either clouded or simply
                                              Message 22 of 28 , Sep 5, 2004

                                                I know there is no documented evidence of Hood’s having taken laudanum, but his behavior was quite erratic and his judgment was either clouded or simply remarkably bad. He had developed a decent plan for Spring Hill but yet countered it in mid implementation with out telling the field commander (Cheatham) who countered when he saw his men doing something clearly contrary to Hood’s orders, as he (Cheatham) understood them to be. Since Hood had left the field and had not told Cheatham of the changes, confusion ruled. As an experienced and well trained veteran combat officer Hood knew that Cheatham needed to be appraised of the situation, either directly by Hood or by a staff officer who could have stayed in the area to appraise Cheatham of the changes when the opportunity presented it. Hood did not to any of that.  

                                                 

                                                While Union movement was detected throughout the night many field commanders came to Hood’s bed room to tell him. At no time did he respond other than to wave them away. That is a lethargic reaction to a serious situation. Then we have the breakfast explosion directed to the officers present and toward the troops in the field. As an opiate wears off it can leave one in an agitated state and sometimes confused. All of which Hood exhibited that morning. As the meds wear off, the pain increases which also contributes to an agitated state. I know his wound is supposed to have been less than Ewell’s but that is a subjective supposition as each person reacts differently to an injury. Don’t forget the body under went through tremendous shock as a result of the hip-level amputation. Plus Hood had the serious arm wound a short time earlier. In fact the arm was not fully healed when he joined his unit on its way West passing through Richmond.

                                                 

                                                Maybe he didn’t take any meds. But it would not be out of the question to have taken some. And taking meds for pain is not a sign of weakness. If I had his arm injury I would not have gone on let alone lose a leg at the hip and continue. In fact today he would not be permitted a field command under such medical conditions.  Hood showed remarkable courage in the trenches around Atlanta and the ability to plan at Spring Hill but he also showed bad judgment at Franklin, irrational temper the morning of Franklin and incompletion of thought (referred to as a “flighting of thought”) during Spring Hill as well as an inability to act when the situation demanded it during the night. His refusal to act when told of the night time actions troubles me. It makes me feel he had taken something to numb his senses. Often pain increase when one tries to relax and sleep. If memory serves me, he was awakened and told of the situation by Forrest, Cheatham and Cleburne at least.

                                                 

                                                We will never know the truth as we were not there but based on my psych back ground I will always belief that Hood had taken something that night to relax him to be able to sleep. Since he didn’t get that rest, he awoke in an agitated state and attacked his own men. He may have been agitated at himself for failing to correctly direct his orders the day before and his failure to respond throughout the night to clear warnings of problems.

                                                Hood was clearly was told that a problem existed, Hood just a clearly did nothing toward corrective actions. Hood very clearly awoke in a hostile and agitated state and projected that hostility toward his men. It is evident that his thoughts and emotions were not in proper alignment.

                                                Just some thoughts…

                                                Tom M.

                                                 

                                                 

                                                -----Original Message-----
                                                From: SDE80@... [mailto:SDE80@...]
                                                Sent:
                                                Sunday, September 05, 2004 7:19 AM
                                                To: civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com
                                                Subject: Re: [civilwarwest] Re: Confederacy's Last Hurrah

                                                 

                                                In a message dated 9/4/04 9:07:23 PM Eastern Daylight Time, abagley@... writes:


                                                One thing nobody's mentioned yet with regards to Hood's performance
                                                as army commander is his use of laudanum to combat the pain of his
                                                two major woundings.

                                                I'm no psychologist or medical doctor who understands the exact
                                                effects of an opiate on decision-making, but I believe his
                                                dependence on painkillers did interfere with his command decisions



                                                Respectfully, there is no proof, at all, that drugs affected any aspect of Hood's performance.

                                                Sam Elliott


                                              • GnrlJEJohnston@aol.com
                                                In a message dated 9/5/2004 11:08:20 PM Eastern Standard Time, tmix@insightbb.com writes: We will never know the truth as we were not there This is true.
                                                Message 23 of 28 , Sep 5, 2004
                                                  In a message dated 9/5/2004 11:08:20 PM Eastern Standard Time, tmix@... writes:
                                                  We will never know the truth as we were not there
                                                  This is true.  However, with severe pain, which Hood apparently had by all reports, it is quite logical that he did take something to ease that pain, whether it be an opiate or something else.  Whether his mind or thinking process was ever affected by taking any medication what so ever, can only be speculated or theorized,  not proven as fact.
                                                   

                                                  Best Regards
                                                  JEJ

                                                  "I have realized in our country that one class of
                                                  men makes war and leaves another to fight it out."
                                                         - William T. Sherman




                                                • DPowell334@AOL.COM
                                                  In a message dated 9/5/2004 11:25:30 PM Central Daylight Time, ... I like to think that by Franklin, Hood s judgement was clearly suspect, no matter what the
                                                  Message 24 of 28 , Sep 6, 2004
                                                    In a message dated 9/5/2004 11:25:30 PM Central Daylight Time, GnrlJEJohnston@... writes:

                                                    This is true.  However, with severe pain, which Hood apparently had by all reports, it is quite logical that he did take something to ease that pain, whether it be an opiate or something else.  Whether his mind or thinking process was ever affected by taking any medication what so ever, can only be speculated or theorized,  not proven as fact.




                                                    I like to think that by Franklin, Hood's judgement was clearly suspect, no matter what the cause.

                                                    I do think that supposition over drug use has evolved into accepted fact for many people. It is a fact you often see brought up about Hood, which is why I think it important to keep pointing out that there is no primary source evidence of his drug use. That should be a big red flag for any historian.

                                                    Dave Powell

                                                  • SDE80@aol.com
                                                    In a message dated 9/6/04 7:57:11 AM Eastern Daylight Time, ... Exactly, Dave. The man blundered remarkably on Nov. 29 and 30, 1864, and drug use is a nice,
                                                    Message 25 of 28 , Sep 6, 2004
                                                      In a message dated 9/6/04 7:57:11 AM Eastern Daylight Time, DPowell334@... writes:

                                                      I do think that supposition over drug use has evolved into accepted fact for many people. It is a fact you often see brought up about Hood, which is why I think it important to keep pointing out that there is no primary source evidence of his drug use. That should be a big red flag for any historian.



                                                      Exactly, Dave.  The man blundered remarkably on Nov. 29 and 30, 1864, and drug use is a nice, neat explanation. 

                                                      Remember, in the 1880's Cheatham responded to Hood's attacks on Spring Hill.  If there was any indication drugs were used, I think Marse Frank would have employed it in his defense.

                                                      Sam Elliott
                                                    • Art Bagley
                                                      I m not sure of the timing of Hood s baptism, or entry into the church of his choice, but his oath to avoid alcohol was a wise move, and perhaps suggested by
                                                      Message 26 of 28 , Sep 6, 2004
                                                        I'm not sure of the timing of Hood's baptism, or entry into the
                                                        church of his choice, but his oath to avoid alcohol was a wise move,
                                                        and perhaps suggested by his personal physician IF in fact Hood was
                                                        using an opiate pain killer. Alcohol + narcotic = death. Also, IF in
                                                        fact Hood was using laudanum, doesn't that medicine contain alcohol?
                                                        Lots of questions and possible contradictions.

                                                        AorB
                                                      • Tom Mix
                                                        To a professional counselor and behaviorist, Hood s actions tell a story all their own and send up other red flags. Those red flags can be deadly ones too. Tom
                                                        Message 27 of 28 , Sep 6, 2004

                                                          To a professional counselor and behaviorist, Hood’s actions tell a story all their own and send up other red flags. Those red flags can be deadly ones too.

                                                          Tom

                                                           

                                                          -----Original Message-----
                                                          From: DPowell334@... [mailto:DPowell334@...]
                                                          Sent: Monday, September 06, 2004 6:51 AM
                                                          To: civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com
                                                          Subject: Re: [civilwarwest] Re: Confederacy's Last Hurrah

                                                           

                                                          In a message dated 9/5/2004 11:25:30 PM Central Daylight Time, GnrlJEJohnston@... writes:


                                                          This is true.  However, with severe pain, which Hood apparently had by all reports, it is quite logical that he did take something to ease that pain, whether it be an opiate or something else.  Whether his mind or thinking process was ever affected by taking any medication what so ever, can only be speculated or theorized,  not proven as fact.





                                                          I like to think that by Franklin, Hood's judgement was clearly suspect, no matter what the cause.

                                                          I do think that supposition over drug use has evolved into accepted fact for many people. It is a fact you often see brought up about Hood, which is why I think it important to keep pointing out that there is no primary source evidence of his drug use. That should be a big red flag for any historian.

                                                          Dave Powell



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